- 2020 - 2040
- Case size
Goedhuis, October 2020
The Comtes 2008 has a stunning bright lemon-yellow colour with golden hints. The nose is open generous and inviting - ripe fresh citrus notes with beautiful chalky minerals, lemon sherbet, grapefruit, white flowers, fresh almonds, and hints of brioche. The freshness and purity are evident, but aromas dance from the glass. It is incredibly elegant with huge presence. On the palate it is taut, but with hints of lovely ripe yellow fruits, fresh ripe apples, fleshy white and yellow fruits. The tension, chalky and stone minerals are very reminiscent of a top-flight Grand Cru Burgundy, Chevalier springs to mind. The complexity deepens on the palate, with the signature Comtes smoke, toast and fullness unfurling. Lots of concentration, very complex and layered. Racy but balanced acidity that complement the fruit, adding a touch of salinity and tons of vibrancy. Completely and utterly delicious. This will be drinkable out of the gates but has all the quality to last decades; the immense pleasure it has to give will only increase with age.
Antonio Galloni, October 2020,
Taittinger’s 2008 Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is simply breathtaking. I have tasted it many times over the years in various trial disgorgements and it has never been anything less than compelling. The final, finished wine captures all of that potential. Bright, focused and wonderfully deep, Comtes is a fabulous example of a vintage that expresses so much energy but with real fruit intensity, the signatures that distinguish it from other vintages (1996 comes to mind) that were similarly taut, but more austere in the early going. Although the 2008 impresses right out of the gate, it only really starts to open up with several hours of air. The 2008 Comtes represents the purest essence of the Côtes des Blancs in a great, historic vintage. Readers who can find the 2008 should not hesitate, as it is a truly brilliant epic Champagne that no one who loves the very best in Champagne will want to be without. Vinous, Antonio Galloni
Wine Advocate, October 2020,
Taittinger's 2008 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is being released this year, and it will be worth a special effort to track down. I wrote in August 2019 that this is the finest Comtes de Champagne since the brilliant 2002, and this tasting confirmed that. Offering up a deep and complex bouquet of citrus oil, crisp orchard fruit, warm brioche, crushed chalk, blanched almonds and smoke, it's full-bodied and incisive, with excellent concentration, racy acids and a long, searingly chalky finish. While this is already immensely impressive out of the gates, this 2008 is clearly built for the long haul, and three decades' longevity won't be a challenge. Wine Advocate, William Kelly
Matthew Jukes, October 2020,
This is a superb Comtes and it harks back to a bygone era of discreet poise and innate perfection. Unlike so many other prestige cuvée Champagnes these days which are often uncomfortably weighty, robust and mouth-coating, you can taste the cold winter and cool summer in this wine. This is a rare Champagne which seems not to have been touched by climate change. In addition, you can taste the chalky soils of the five famous Grand Cru villages in the Côte des Blancs from whence the grapes came – Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger. There is the merest whisper of oak here and it serves to soothe some of the raspier edges in this dynamic Chardonnay cocktail. Most of all, when you drink Comtes you want to it to taste noble and thoroughly worthy of its label. This 2008 release is the epitome of the Comtes style and I adore it. You might also want to realise some sense of value for money when you buy this wine given that it wears a hefty price tag. Well, I can tell you that I think it stacks up in this department, too. I believe that this is one of the most exciting Taittinger releases for years and while it will last for 20 years or more, I was struck by the extraordinary balance which this wine already shows. This is a true wine highlight in a very dreary year for the wine trade, so thank you Taittinger for bringing a degree of levity to proceedings.
One of the most recognised Champagne Houses in the world, Taittinger was originally founded in 1734 by Jacques Fourneaux. It was not until 1931 that its connections to the Taittinger family were established with it was purchased by founder, Pierre Taittinger. The hallmark of the Taittinger blend is the high percentage of Chardonnay which adds a natural elegance and creaminess to the wines. Today, it remains owned and managed by the Taittinger family - a rarity in the region for a producer of this size - and is run by Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger.
Champagne, the world's greatest sparkling wine, needs little introduction - with imitations produced in virtually every country capable of growing grapes, including such unlikely candidates as India and China. The Champagne region, to the north of Paris, has the most northerly vineyards in France, with vines grown on slopes with a southerly exposure to maximise sunlight. The soil is chalky, providing an excellent balance of drainage and water retention. The key to the wine is in the cellar - the bubbles result from a second fermentation in the bottle and the rich toasty flavours in great Champagne come from extended bottle ageing on the yeasty lees. Until the eighteenth century, the wines produced in the Champagne area were light acidic white wines, with no hint of sparkle. However glass and closure technology developed at that time and it was not long before Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Hautvilliers, started experimenting with blends and produced the first recognisable champagne. In a world accustomed to still wines, the advent of champagne was almost a flop. It was saved when it became fashionable at the French court as a result of Louis XV's mistress Madame de Pompadour commenting "Champagne isthe only wine that lets a woman remain beautiful after she has drunk it." And the rest is history, with famous (or infamous) champagne lovers including Casanova, Dumas, Wagner, Winston Churchill, James Bond and Coco Chanel.